The jig is up for people who have been enjoying an unofficial perk of Amazon’s flagship device.
Amazon truly innovated the market when it launched the original Kindle ereader back in 2007. Sure, there were other players on the market, not the least of which was Sony’s Reader device that was a pioneer of ereaders (and now is merely a footnote in the market).
But what really made the Kindle stand out was the ability to purchase new books seamlessly, no PC connection required.
It did this, of course, by offering an unlimited amount of 3G Internet access included in the purchase price. Of course, delivering hundreds of pages of text and authorizing credit card transactions eats up very little data, but it wasn’t long before users were able to hack the device and access full Internet capabilities, including unfiltered Web browsing. All of the sudden, that unlimited Internet wasn’t so cheap.
Amazon has always been opposed to this practice, but apparently it is now really cracking down. Based on user reports, it seems that Amazon is now limiting 3G access to users who tap into the Kindle’s online connectivity for unauthorized purposes.
One user reported that he got a message on his device that he would have 24 hours left to use 3G access for Web browsing, but after that he “should” only use it for Amazon.com, Wikipedia, and the Kindle Store. Amazon has not made an official comment on this latest crackdown.
The 3G service is provided by AT&T, which also has not provided any comment on this, but based on Amazon’s seemingly random crackdown, it wouldn’t be surprising if AT&T is the one that pressured Amazon to enact this measure.